In all things human

omnomnomnivoreMy dedicated omnivore friend, Liz, had invited me over for a vegan lunch.  Now, Liz is one of the best cooks I know.  She is spectacular.  To watch her throw ingredients together in the kitchen is to watch a form of art.

This was the first time I’ve seen her since the cyber-fight with Steph on Facebook.

“By the way,” I said, as she finished preparing the meal, “Obviously, I know you love and support me.”

“With all the lard running through my veins.”

I grinned.

“You know,” she paused from chopping the cucumber, “I did try to go vegetarian for a couple years.”

“You did?”

She nodded thoughtfully, threw the cucumber into a bowl and then snagged a red onion to start cutting up. “Yep.  Then I went to Holland to visit my aunt.  I hadn’t told her I was vegetarian and she had made me a meal.  I didn’t want to NOT eat it.”  Liz looked up for a moment from her dicing,  “I hate people like that: ‘Oh, did you not know that I’m vegetarian? I can’t possible eat the food that you’ve spent all this money and time preparing for me.’”  She shook her head and looked back down to finish chopping, “So I tucked in.”

“It was Tournedos with a green peppercorn sauce and frites au jus.  The meat came from her local butcher, slaughtered from his local grass fed herd which lives in the same village as her, the butcher who is a third generation butcher in the exact same shop his grandfather opened 100 years ago.”  She sighed, “The meat tasted like something out of my deep childhood…sweet rich and my body shouted YES.”  She finished the onions, threw them in the bowl with the cucumber, and started to enfold the dressing,  “I didn’t look back EVER again.”

I nodded, “Alan has that too.  When he has meat, he just loves it.  I think he calls himself a vegetarian so that he doesn’t eat it all the time.”

Liz heaped a big bowl of quinoa veggie goodness together on a plate and placed it before me.  “But for you, my dear…voila.”

Liz’s Delicious Cucumber Cabbage Quinoa Salad with Lime Pickle Dressing


  • olive oil
  • good balsamic vinegar
  • apple cider vinegar
  • grainy mustard
  • lime pickle


  • Cook up quinoa of choice
  • Chopped red onion to taste
  • Chopped parsley to taste
  • Cucumber

Mix all together and let flavour soak or devour right away.

Editor’s Warning: this recipe presume you have a good sense of taste.

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Showing 2 comments
  • stephanie

    It’s always interesting to me that people’s ethics go out the window when they get uncomfortable to adhere to. I’ve been in this position many times and as long as I deal with it compassionately, it generally ends well. If someone gets offended because they’ve made me pork and beans and I won’t eat it, that’s their issue. WHy should their ethics outweigh mine? If it was an allergy, the host would behave quite differently but because veganism or vegetarianism is oft times misconstrued as some sort of holier than thou choice, people get quite defensive; I think once you bring it back to the ethics of eating animals, of willfully causing harm and living non-compassionately to satisfy your what, your palate? Then it becomes clearer. I never feel deprivation, I always feel a sense of ease and gratefulness and peace when I eat. I always find it abhorrent when people use the rationale of how the animal was raised as a justification for slaughtering and eating it. Really? How does that work? It’s ok, I didn’t beat my dog, he lived a great life but then I stared him in the eyes and gutted him with a knife because my life is more valuable than his and hey, he’s here to serve me and feed me. And it’s just an animal, right? So, why aren’t we eating our domestic companion animals, too? I’m being harsh and reactive, I know, and I’m trying to practice a live and let live attitude but my overriding sense of empathy screams into anger when the voiceless ones who are sentient beings cannot be heard.
    It’s wonderful she made you a quinoa salad, really nice. But again, shifting the paradigm for people who have no idea how varied and massive a plant based diet actually is can be key- that’s why I love great cookbooks like Veganomicon:
    and really, I let everyone know my dietary preferences before I accept invites and always offer to contribute amazing food- the best way to educate and demystify plant based lifestyles.

  • Lizzi

    Oh dear here we go again. Nothing like a little casting of aspersions to elevate oneself above others to relish in the sententious stratosphere of imperial superiority and projecting said holier than thou attitude on the meat eating “other” – oh what abject actors we carnivores are on the stage vegan drama.

    So notwithstanding the allegation that I am lazy immoral unethical selfish harmful unempathetic animal consumer who clearly has no capacity for moral reasoning nor foothold because I eat bacon, I will attempt from my lowly position and my poor apprehension of right and wrong to address the core issue of animal consumption as artificially juxtaposed against the mutually exclusive ideology of veganism.

    The relationship between human and animal is a complex one. I neither presume to be superior nor knowledgable of the range of activities that take place vis a vis animal use and/or suffering for our human benefit be it from the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the products you use on your body, the research conducted to create materials and products. I absolutely abhor factory farmed animal production and do not participate in it. I have seen the online footage of what gets done to pigs, to baby pigs, to cows, to chickens… and it is horrifying, it is disgusting and it is morally reprehensible that kind of suffering occurs – i do not for an instant fool myself about the realities of the industrial meat complex we live in. Additionally I also try not to buy things made in China because I do not believe in slave labor feeding nor consumerism but it is exceedingly difficult to live a life free from participating in some kind of human or animal suffering, but I try and do my best. each of us looks where to draw the line for our own lives, our place in our evolutions, our own belief systems and our own moral standing. No one, not you, not me, is free from participating in and creating suffering. in other words your vegan shit and my carnivore shit still stink.

    So, it seems to me, based on my many years reflecting on and engaging with folks about food that many of my non-animal consuming brethren seem to rest on the laurels of non-consumption as equal to advocacy against animal cruelty. In my journey along the many trajectories of my relationship to food I now, according to my definition, happily, sustainably and ethically inhabit a world within which we consume animal products and for reasons not only nutritionally but also ethically. The following book has been helpful to me in terms of philosophically reorienting myself around animal consumption and the weston a price foundation has been a useful place for me to construct a nutritional profile for my family.

    I have two babies and their development requires animal products. their brains, their bones, their cartilage, their muscles, their teeth, their eyesight… everything about human development and evolution is concomitant with some degree of consumption of animal products. period. Thus to me at this stage in my life sustainability is the key. Purchasing product from local farmers and butchers, giving the children raw milk products from a herd in Chilliwack, teaching them how to have a relationship of stewardship with animals not one of inflicting suffering and pain – which having grown up on a farm with animals, slaughtered animals, dressed animals and preserved animals I know is possible. I accept that to some people I generate feelings of disgust and revulsion but I say, do not confuse your personal feelings as moral superiority.

    I also realise there are people who are empowered and confident with not participating in the consumption of animal suffering. And I completely support and respect anyone’s INFORMED choice whatever it is, especially one as difficult as veganism which is a challenging and oft maligned dietary choice (although it is a reactive bed that vegans mostly made that they lie) . But I don’t construct my value system of why I eat meat by disparaging those who do not. That to me reveals a deeper personal issues which I am in no position to theorise about but simply ask any person to engage in some self reflection why it is important to be hateful, disparaging or insulting to other people in order to feel safe in your own identity? Frankly if you feel good about being vegan then feel good. however, obfuscating personal issues with ideological or political positions is a tiring and ultimately untenable game.

    For me an exclusive plant based diet is not the right choice for our family and based on that, I do my best to consume sustainably and ethically. I actually own the Veganomicon and cook from it regularly, I am particularly fond of the tempeh nori rolls. yum.

    to conclude, last year I read this article on Alternet and it resonated with me so I share it as well.

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